Tata Motors has said that it may not invest in upgrading the Tata Nano to meet the Bharat Stage-VI emission standards, indicating that the production and sales of the car may stop from April 2020, PTI reported on Thursday.

Mayank Prateek, president of Tata Motors’ Passenger Vehicle Business unit, indicated that other existing vehicles may also be discontinued when Bharat Stage-VI norms are adopted, but did not specify the vehicles.

Prateek said new safety norms will come into effect in January, some in April and then in October. “...and BS-VI [Bharat Stage-VI] is going to happen from April 1 of 2020, so all products may not meet [BS-VI norms] and we may not invest in upgrading all the products...and Nano is one of them,” Prateek said.

The company had launched the compact car in 2008, claiming it as the world’s cheapest car. It was priced at Rs 1 lakh at its launch, and was touted as an alternative for families driving two-wheelers. In June last year, the company had produced only unit of the model.

Prateek said Tata Motors currently has five to six products in the passenger vehicle segment, which will be refurbished and modified. When asked about the Bharat Stage-VI emission standards, Prateek said it was a challenge for automobile makers as Supreme Court guidelines do not allow sale of Bharat Stage-IV vehicles after April 1, 2020.

Bharat Stage emission standards regulate the output of air pollutants from vehicle engines. The higher the Bharat Stage category, the less polluting the vehicle. The country has followed the Bharat Stage-IV norms since April 2017, and is scheduled to switch to Bharat Stage-VI in April 2020.

Prateek said car sales were not good during the last festival season due to “stress in the liquidity market” which slowed down the process of getting loans. Prateek said the company has the technology to develop electric vehicles, but there was not enough charging infrastructure available in the country.

The company currently caters to only 60% of the car market and aims at covering 90% by launching new products in 2021-’22.